Improving project performance through partnering and emotional intelligence

Mark E. Cacamis, Mounir El Asmar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


The construction industry represents around 5% of the U.S. gross domestic product (GDP). The scores of baby boomers beginning to retire in the engineering and construction industries are taking a lifetime of institutional knowledge with them. This scenario results in a relatively limited supply of experienced personnel. Partnering is one potential solution to overcome this problem. This paper makes the case that advancing the emotional intelligence (EI) of project participants can improve the partnering effort and ultimately result in increased project performance. This improved performance, to some extent, mitigates the effects of the loss of institutional knowledge. This paper introduces a people-based model that holistically illustrates the components and activities necessary to take a construction project from inception to successful completion. The authors also evaluated contractors who have partnered with the Virginia DOT (VDOT) and found that managers of successful projects exhibited high EI scores. Improving the EI of project participants is for the good of the individuals and provides the additional benefit of improved relationships. This paper sheds light on the state of practice of sociopsychological concepts in the construction workplace to create awareness and develop behaviors that promote productive project relationships.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)50-56
Number of pages7
JournalPractice Periodical on Structural Design and Construction
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 2014


  • Construction
  • Delivery methods
  • Emotional intelligence
  • Partnering
  • Project management
  • Project performance
  • Social skills

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


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